COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 43

FIGGY BLACK JAM When Grandma’s son Simon took over his farmhouse in southern France he inherited a splendid black fig tree in the back courtyard, which was always laden with sweet, juicy figs in the late summer. To play up the drama of their dark skins, Grandma would combine them with black currants or blackberries

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 42

MOULES MARINIÈRE Our family once had a summer house near Dieppe, on the Normandy coast, and ever since Grandma has loved mussels. Saffron is a natural partner for fish – it colors this fragrant stew a glowing orange-gold. You can try substituting clams for the mussels, but allow more time for them to open over

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 41

RUSSIAN BORTSCH Katya makes the best Bortsch and no wonder since she was brought up in Russia. The soup is crammed with vegetables, enough to make it a vegetarian main course, though Katya tells me that traditionally it is always followed by a main course of meat or chicken with a grain such as kasha

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 40

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK Grandma still cannot approach the town of Cheltenham without a shudder. This is where she was at boarding school for six unhappy years. Given her love of cooking, it might have been the execrable food that did her in, but there was much more to it than that. Calvinist principles of self-denial

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 39

CHOCOLATE WALNUT FUDGE Grandma finds fudge too sweet, but Lucy and the other grandchildren love every sticky bite. Just making this recipe is as much fun as eating it, with a sugar thermometer involved and Grandma on watch to supervise the proceedings. Makes 2 lb/1 kg fudge 3 cups/600 g sugar 1 cup/250 ml milk

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 38

CHOCOLATE SNOWBALL Snow never falls in Simon’s southern comer of France, so in winter we substitute this tall chocolate mold which with a stretch of the imagination looks like a snowball as it is completely coated with whipped cream. Serves 8-10 ½ lb/250 g dark chocolate, chopped ¾ cup/175 ml strong black coffee 1 cup/250

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 37

JUSTINE’S SHORTBREAD STARS My room-mate Justine comes from Edinburgh, hence her mastery of these glittering shortbread stars. At Christmas she makes the stars round, brushing them after baking with a thin icing of confectioners’ sugar and water flavored with cinnamon. Makes about 12 stars 1 cup/250 g unsalted butter 1/2 cup/125 g sugar 3 cups/390

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 36

VOLCANIC BAKED APPLES WITH CHOCOLATE For baking you’ll need a tart variety of apple that will be fluffy and juicy when baked; traditional favorites are Rome Beauty or McIntosh, though you can always fall back on the ubiquitous Granny Smith. All of them are liable to burst open, hence their ‘volcanic’ title! Serves 4 4

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 35

AUNTIE LOUIE’S CHEESE BALLS Grandma had only one Auntie, plump and generous, a grande dame with bouffant white hair and an English rose complexion. Her progress as she drove along the village street, bowing to left and right to acquaintances, was positively regal. Auntie Louie was famous for her luck at the tombola (she once

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COOKING WITH GRANDMA CHRONICLES PART 34

TAIWAN CHICKEN STIR FRY When Grandma traveled in Asia, she loved the lively little dishes served in outdoor markets. The trio of spring onion, garlic and root ginger is the classic seasoning for innumerable Asian dishes, whether or not to pick them up with chili pepper is the cook’s choice. Serves 2 2 boneless, skinless

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